HARDISON’S TIPS – DECEMBER 24, 2021 – Creating a Sales ProHARDISON’S TIPS – DECEMBER 24, 2021 – Creating a Sales Process
The sales world has been evolving for years, with traditional tactics like paper marketing and face-to-face sales meetings slowly giving way to more digital-first strategies that reflect the desires of the modern buyer. By 2019, 81% of buyers were doing online research before committing to a purchase, showing how important a persuasive and informative online presence has become in the quest for increased sales growth.
This years-in-the-making digital transformation was turbocharged by the pandemic, which pushed more transactions online — a change that will almost certainly be permanent. If it wasn’t already clear to sales leadership that the days of traditional sales tactics have ended, it should be apparent now. Sales organizations will have to change their focus and figure out how to best scale virtual sales and adapt more quickly as markets continue to change. This is going to require a smarter approach that uses AI and big data to guide sales processes and customize tactics to specific customer needs.
To accomplish this, sales teams will have to reexamine every point of their sales infrastructures to see how they can be best adapted for a more modern approach. Sales objectives will have to change to provide a more up-to-date road map for sales teams. Key performance indicators (KPI) will need to be adjusted to make sure they measure the right factors for these new goals. Training, too, will have to change, along with compensation and incentive strategies to better reflect new priorities. Finally, the technology used will need to be updated, with tools like customer relationship management (CRM) software replacing older solutions like spreadsheets.
The number of adjustments you’ll need to make will depend on your current strategies. When it comes to improving sales operations, though, nothing in your sales infrastructure should be regarded as sacred. You’ll need a system in place to evaluate your progress, with regular team check-ins to look at what’s working — and what isn’t — so you can make improvements to your organization as a whole.
But what about when you’re just starting to make changes? Where do you begin to trim the fat? To help you in your journey of creating a leaner, meaner, more modern sales team, let’s look at some of the different components of a sales plan and help you decide what to keep and what to change.
Component 1: Sales Process
An effective sales process should mirror the buyer’s journey. When your buyer starts purchasing in a different manner, the sales process should change with it. As buyer behavior continues to evolve and adapt to new technology, you’ll want to build a buyer-focused sales process that can help sales reps quickly find where customers are in their journey and approach them there — not expect buyers to meet them halfway.
A buyer-focused approach puts sales teams in the shoes of customers and truly attempts to understand what they want in a transaction. The result is messaging tailored for the different sales process steps, increased win rates, and an accelerated sales cycle. It also results in a better experience for buyers. Considering a positive sales experience makes it 53% more likely that a buyer will become a loyal customer, this is no small feat.
How can you ensure you’re continuously keeping the buyer in mind during each part of the sales process? The key is regularly monitoring for effectiveness while watching for these three warning signs:
- Your sales process fails to connect emotionally.About 70% of the success or failure of a sales process rests on how buyers feelthey’re being treated. If you’re not connecting with customers on an emotional level, you’re missing out on an incredibly effective sales tactic.
- Deals are stalling out more than normal.When the time it takes to close deals keeps stretching out, that’s an indication that the sales team is focusing more on selling than engaging with buyers. While a sale is your ultimate destination, the journey should be about communicating, providing customers with the information they want — when they want it.
- There’s been a significant change in market forces.Sometimes it’s less a matter of what you’ve done in the past and more that the present is just radically different. A change in the economy, your particular industry, or with competition can all impact the customer’s journey and necessitate a new approach to your sales plans and actions.